Stepping into the Limelight

The spotlight of sports media has always shone brightest on athletes and coaches. Behind the scenes, tucked in the shadows, lie some of the hardest working, most essential personnel to team success. It’s time to shed light on their role.

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Stepping into the Limelight

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Eric Housen was 45 when he won his first championship ring.

He wasn’t on the court, nor was he on the bench.

He couldn’t be seen on television, and fans weren’t wearing his jersey.

Why then, surrounded by the flashing blue-yellow strobe lights and screaming fans, did Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, himself giddy with excitement, present Housen with a ring?

Before answering that question, it only seems appropriate to start at the very beginning. In 1973, Housen, then a 7th grader, found an opportunity for work in the Warriors organization as an equipment manager. By 1999, he had become a full-time staffer. And in those 26 years, Housen has, almost unbelievably, missed a grand total of one day. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, that one absence was to go see the birth of his daughter, Sadie – and even then, he was practically forced to stay home by Steve Kerr and Bob Myers, who threatened to fire him if he stepped foot in the arena. Otherwise, he would certainly have shown up bright and early before 7 a.m., while the rest of the team was still sound asleep.

Housen’s vast duties under the umbrella of “equipment management” include booking hotel rooms and planes, washing gear, packing for road trips, buying groceries for a 15-man roster of athletes, managing player schedules, and generally knowing the ins-and-outs of player preferences ranging from wine to food allergies to cold-weather clothing. In a New York Times profile, Housen expressed disappointment over his inability to book a private helicopter on one-hour notice to get David Lee home when the highway closed. All this he does in the name of reducing the stresses of the athletes, allowing their thoughts to be consumed only by the game itself. Housen can worry about the rest.

This second-hand stress and preoccupation over the team have characterized Housen’s involvement in the Warriors program. He cares about the team, its health and its performance.

If 45 years seems old to get an NBA championship ring, it is. But Housen isn’t your average NBA team member either, so perhaps it’s fitting that he gets his recognition 33 years into his career.

Under the heat of those flashing lights and the glory of those screaming fans, Housen received his ring, not for his in-game performance but his magnanimity, his selflessness, and his overwhelming dedication to the program. Housen receiving a ring was more than just another kind gesture. Most teams wouldn’t buy a 74 sapphire, 74 diamond, and 17 karat gold ring as a gesture, especially since there is already an expectation to buy one for all core players, general managers, and coaches.

NBA teams are wealthy, but they won’t spend thousands on just anyone. But then again, Housen isn’t just anyone, and the Warriors know that. Through his work, Housen became indispensable.

The Warriors acknowledgment of this is ground-breaking, largely due to the simple fact that equipment managers are often disrespected and unappreciated. To a franchise as large as a basketball team, the work that goes on beyond the narrow scope of the camera is often undervalued; fans, consumers, see the coaches and players. And not for completely unfair reasons: hearing the words “equipment manager” doesn’t exactly inspire the sense of awe that “all-star basketball player” or “decorated veteran head coach” does. But while the glitz and glamor of sports tend to center on the action on the field, with spectacular dunks and coaches breaking clipboards, much of the magic that allows the program to perform at its best happens behind the scenes, underrecognized and underappreciated.

Work like Housen’s, that takes place out of the limelight, isn’t under that same media spotlight for a reason. Live action is entertaining, and the drama of a tense matchup between players with history is unmatched. There’s little public desire to watch athletic trainers repair patellar dislocations for three hours. The central problem is not that the hard-working staff who support the team do not get equal media coverage. What’s problematic is just how little credit they’re given for the team’s success.

In Housen’s case, the Warriors took an important step in the right direction. Through the beautiful gift and ceremony, he was getting some of that same recognition for his immense contribution to the team’s success. The ring represented a declaration of Housen’s importance to its staying afloat through the regular season, keeping its head above water during the playoffs, and fighting off the rapids of the finals in order to win the championship. He had worked just as hard, providing for the team, and thus, he was getting what he deserved.

Housen, of course, is just one example of the extraordinary commitment taken by those out of the limelight. Just as players put in countless hours at the gym, watch tapes upon tapes of game film, and scrutinize every flaw in their game, the roles of staff like Housen is just as time-consuming, and equally critical to team success. But rarely do their efforts get recognized.

Student-athletes, and professional athletes for that matter, know the extensive, tangled web of people working tirelessly to satisfy their needs and keep their team healthy and happy. Curry was practically bouncing off the walls, so eager to see Housen’s reaction to the surprise ring because of the unique connection they possessed. It is clear that working with the same man for 10 years, as Housen did for Curry, changes one’s perspective. Curry had gained a special appreciation for the man who knows his superstitions, his locker room preferences, and his shoe schedule (Under Armour sends a monthly calendar, directly to Housen). But our student body lacks that same appreciation. We could certainly stand to gain some.

Even for someone who doesn’t watch sports, the names Tom Brady or Lebron James will be instantly recognizable. But the odds of someone being able to point out, by name, the team photographer? Or even the janitors, trainers, and parents, who must arrive hours early and stay hours late at each game to set up and clean up the mess of 2000 high schoolers? Unlikely.

 

Custodial Staff

In order for Paly’s legendary athletics to function properly, so many people must come together and give all of their time and energy to make the student-athletes’ experience unforgettable. At the top of that list of people lies Paly’s custodial staff. For hours each day, they move heavy equipment, set up courts, and clean locker rooms, among hundreds of other jobs. Each day, they arrive with the expectation that, throughout the day, students have trashed it. Unfortunately, Paly’s students are not unique in their treatment of the custodial staff. They, like the majority of people, leave garbage everywhere. They wince when asked to pick up trash. They rarely say thank you. While there is relatively little outright disrespect, there is no admiration nor accolade. The custodial staff is dismissed, without a second thought, despite the role they play in the cleanliness of the school, let alone in the expansive world of athletics. There is no malicious intent, but there is also no thought.

Students have grown used to not cleaning up after themselves, and regardless of the previous day’s activities, they still wake up to a pristine campus; the thought of who is spending those arduous hours cleaning up, ensuring that Paly’s fields and courts stay beautiful, never crosses a student’s mind.

But whether we think of them or not, the janitors are there, giving their all for us; it’s high time we recognize it.

During each evening at Paly, the campus is a ghost town. However, the pool, among other bustling facilities, is steaming, and the mechanical-like slapping of water can be heard from the Media Arts Center. It is at this time when student-athletes relieve the day’s stress on the athletic fields.

Mary Fetter (‘19) exits the pool after an exhausting swim set and rushes toward the equipment shed. She drops her backpack off before making a final sprint to the swimming locker rooms, located  on the pool deck. Along with her, 30 other girls shower, dry their suits, put on clothes, and get ready to go home. The real problem, according to Fetter, stems from shoes.

“Lots of people, everyone actually, wears shoes into the locker room, which is not a big problem when we get to the locker rooms after school, because everything is dry,” Fetter said. “But as we get the plastic floor wet, that same dirt turns to mud. It’s really slippery and disgusting.”

Just last season, the custodial staff became aware of this problem. Within days of the issue, they had a solution. Each night, sometimes more than once, a janitor would come in – after practice – and mop the floors of both locker rooms and on-deck bathrooms.

“They are here literally every night, and I do not think I have ever heard someone say ‘Thank you,’ or even really acknowledge the service they provide us,” Fetter said.

The custodial staff provides this same service for both water polo and swimming, allowing each team to practice at their full potential. However, despite their essential service, so few students give them the recognition that they deserve.

Javid Alasti (‘19) is different. A water polo player since freshman year, Alasti has grown close to the program and its facilities. Each night, after practice, Alasti can be seen chatting with many different members of the custodial staff.

Alasti sees them as more than just staff members.

“The guys are seriously funny,” Alasti said. “They also encourage me to speak to them in Spanish, because they know that I am taking the class at school. They certainly do not have to be nice to me; it is not part of the job description. But they are, and I really like letting them know that I do appreciate what they do for me, and for this school.”

Alasti hasn’t given the custodial staff a ring, yet he has done something just as good, with no price tag attached. To his fellow water polo players, Alasti had shown just how approachable the custodial staff really was. He had also shown how good it felt to thank someone who truly affected the livelihood of the team. Alasti started a movement on the water polo team.

Each night, upon the arrival of a custodian, the water polo team, regardless of whether they were in the middle of a drill, would scream “thanks” and other related phrases in Spanish.

“It just feels good to congratulate someone on a job really well done, and these guys have done it for years,” Alasti said.

Unfortunately, Alasti’s gestures have not reached other sports.

Just because Paly’s custodial staff works out of the limelight does not mean that they deserve any less recognition. Custodians don’t often stand in the spotlight. Truth be told, they may never get the recognition that they truly deserve. Why? Because they are some of the great people who work in the dark. The dark may seem like a quiet and scary place, but it is in the dark where some of the most effectual work takes place. Achievement is often anonymous; some of the greatest people have done the greatest things in the dark. And even though our custodial staff works out of the limelight, often out of sight, they deserve thanks and accolade from the entire Paly community: it is their work that allows us to do ours.

Unfortunately, Paly’s custodial staff is not the only group whose work goes unnoticed. Instead of merely supporting their kids from the stands, these parents  also take on the responsibilities of organizing the other parents, sending out emails with relevant information, organizing team dinners and outings, and doing everything they can to make the coach’s job less stressful. Team parents make sure the snack shack is operating smoothly or cameras are recording the game to be used for film. Without these parents, the infrastructure of Paly’s sports industry would be liable to collapse.

 

Team Parents

One parent leading the way is Fatima Giffen, team parent for football as well as school auditor. Giffen has assisted the team the past four years. With two kids playing football, Giffen believes that it is her responsibility to support the team in more extensive ways than simply showing up to games and cheering them on.

“I think if you have a child that plays a sport, you should do what you can to help out,” Giffen said. “Many hands make light work.”

Even with kids on the team, Giffen doesn’t pinpoint her intimacy to the sport as the sole reason she feels an obligation to help. Rather, her interest stems from the lessons that can be learned from helping the teams.

“ I think that being involved in sports is so important and teaches many life lessons,” said Giffen. “I want to be a part of that and help coaches and the team succeed by doing my part as a team parent, and stepping in when needed.”

And the coaches need all the help they can get. Trying to manage upwards of 15 teenagers requires an abundance of time and effort from coaches, so Giffen does all she can to help minimize the stress of planning the snack shack and team dinner from the coaches.

“There is something for everyone, whether it is being the team parent, helping out at the snack shack, ticket sales, driving players to events,” Giffen said. “I always say, ‘Let the coaches coach, and volunteers can take care of the other stuff.’”

As for job responsibilities, team parents take responsibility for a wide variety of jobs in order to help the team succeed. The largest responsibility the team parents have is making sure all the other parents are updated with what’s going on.

“ I am responsible for the weekly communications with parents,” Giffen said. “I keep parents up-to-date with important information and also ask for volunteers when needed. My job is to help the season run smoothly from a volunteer standpoint.”

Another job the parents have is ensuring the fans can grab a bite to eat during a break. Although this responsibility doesn’t fall under the team parents, Giffen still makes sure that the snack shack is always operational.

Besides helping the coaches and making sure other parents are contributing, team parents also make sure the the students and fans can have the best experience possible at Paly home games. Many of the parents also contribute to the ticket entrance, selling tickets and letting people in.

The time put in by these parents, comes close to the time put in by their kids-the hours required for setting up team dinners, helping organize transportation, running the snack shack, coordinating team photos and senior nights, and cheering for their respective teams quickly add up. The effort each parent puts in is a vital part of Paly home games.

 

Photographers

Always visible on the sideline during Paly sporting events, photographer Karen Hickey has spent the last four years taking photos of teams and posting them on her website.

Currently, she shoots photos of all Paly sports and sends many to the Palo Alto Weekly, increasing the exposure to Paly sports.  Starting off as a band and football photographer, Hickey eventually started taking photos of other sports.

“Way before Paly, I started taking photos of my kids, but since they are part of a team, I started to take photos of all the kids and would share them with the team,” Hickey said. “I started to take photos of the football games, along with [David Hickey’s] freshman games. Then it became fun to go to games where I knew the parents or kids from previous schools and teams.”

Eventually, her reputation preceded her, and she became known as one of the main photographers at games and her success spread through Paly fields and beyond.

“Pretty soon people were asking me to go to different games,” said Hickey. She even went out of her way to help the publications, first by letting them use her photos and later by letting some of the photographers trail her and giving them tips.    

Unlike team parents, the only responsibility for the photographer is to take photos. But this still comes with some challenges, especially with the amount of time spent getting ready, which is a task in itself.

“It’s a little harder these days as we have more photographers than gear, so I have to share a little more,” Hickey said. Besides getting the gear ready, Hickey also has to plan ahead for what photos she will take.

“I do spend some time at the venue to see how many players [there are], whom I might know, what the light is like if it’s outdoors, and where I might want to be for some key moments during that game,” Hickey said.

The game is where a majority of her time is spent. In order to have enough time to get ready, Hickey will try to arrive 30 minutes early to set up cameras and scope the lighting.

”If it’s an important game or one that I’ve decided to shoot [in its entirety], I like to be there at least 30 minutes ahead of time,” Hickey said. “Sometimes I can get photos of some athletes in warm-ups, particularly if they don’t play much.”

Besides getting the most known and appreciated photos of the quarterback dropping back, the goalie diving for the ball, or the basketball player driving for a layup, Hickey also spends an equal amount of time on the lesser photographed aspects of the sport. She makes sure to get photos of the offensive lineman blocking, the soccer coach pacing on the sideline, and the basketball bench exploding with excitement after witnessing a blocked shot.

“Just because they don’t play or they’re a lineman doesn’t mean that they don’t have an important job to do,” Hickey said. “Those athletes are still making a huge commitment of their time and if I can get even a couple of photos of them I feel much better that I’ve captured a fun time in their lives. Those athletes and parents want something to have and share too.”

“It’s actually a challenge to not put in all the great photos of the team’s star athlete,” Hickey said. “They may make a lot of amazing plays but I want to make sure to give time and space to all the other athletes on the team as well.”

With four years of experience at Paly, Hickey knows most of the players and coaches. Her knowledge of lighting and spots at Paly arenas allows her to be more relaxed when attending games.

“For Paly, I don’t need extra time to get in or to know where to sit since I’ve photographed almost all the sports,” Hickey said.

Her amount of experience proves beneficial besides photography. In addition to knowing all the coaches through team photos and sports boosters, Hickey also knows most of the players on the teams. The relationship goes both ways, as many of the athletes on the court recognize her and often pose for photos on the sideline or after the game. Although the freshman and sophomores are less familiar with her, chances are the juniors and seniors have seen her at least at one game.

“[Upperclassmen] do reach out if they are looking for a photo,” Hickey said. “That’s what makes it so worth it: the hellos that I get at school or around the city.”

The challenge, however, occurs once a Paly team reaches CCS playoffs, which have much stricter rules and often require floor passes. Most games are in entirely different buildings, meaning her normal lighting tricks and key spots aren’t as easy to fall back on.

“Championship games can be tricky with passes or access, so being early is helpful,” Hickey said.

As for the hours spent on each game, it varies from sport to sport, with football being the most extreme. Arriving at around 4 o’clock, Hickey immediately starts taking photos of JV, works on photos in-between games, and then takes photos for varsity. The total time per varsity football game adds up to eight hours a game.

“There’s the time to get there and get set up, but there’s also the photo processing time after the games,” said Hickey. “I can take 2000 to 4000 photos during a football game, along with cheer and dance, and need to have an immediate set ready for the paper that night after the game.” Hickey said.

Some days Hickey even has multiple games to attend. “Sometimes I will see a game going on as I finish up another,” Hickey said. “I could run from softball to lacrosse.”

Thankfully, help has arrived for Hickey, cutting down her hours spent taking photos each game.

“Because I have other commitments and my kids also shoot now, I’m perfectly happy shooting a quarter of a game or getting what I can,” Hickey said. “Sometimes I don’t get to the photos for processing if my kids were also there, but it’s fun to shoot with them.”

With her photos easily downloadable by anyone, Hickey helps promote the teams as she works for Sports Boosters. Many players and their families also download the photos for personal use or occasionally  posting them on social media.

Even though Hickey is visible on the sidelines, her extra work before and after the games are unseen but worthy of recognition. Constantly working on game photos, planning team photos, and working in San Francisco, Hickey is always busy and still finds the time to support all the teams at Paly.

Athletic Trainers

A sort of middle ground between the fields of physical therapy and sports medicine, athletic trainers make up a smaller – albeit burgeoning – field in terms of athlete care. They care for the welfare of student-athletes, a broad task encompassing everything from injury prevention and rehabilitation to emergency care in-game. Paly, for its part, has gone out of its way to hire several full-time, in-house athletic trainers, something uncommon for the majority of schools, even those in the Bay Area, whose financial capacities to go above and beyond the average high school are well documented.

“Some high schools I know do not have [a hired athletic trainer], or they outpatient, or all they have is the emergency response on site instead of having an actual trainer,” Mark Hwang, one of Paly’s graduate assistants, said. Hwang himself was inspired to follow the career route after his high school athletics career. As is the case for many athletes, he tended to have chronic injuries-the extensive wear-and-tear on tired joints proving to be too much. While the frustration of being told the fastest route to get back in uniform is an eight-month rehab program, he cited the close connection with, and respect he had, for his athletic trainer as a central motivator for him to pursue the job.

“I had a torn labrum, but I opted not to get surgery and go the conservative route,” Hwang said. “[My athletic trainer] helped me with a bunch of exercises, what to do to stabilize my shoulder, and it’s been six, seven years since high school and I haven’t had any shoulder pain since.”

Although Hwang remembered his trainer being so busy he could only see her sporadically, he says she was an essential part of his success as a high school athlete.

“I’m really thankful to her for providing me with the backbone to [be] where I am right now, even though I didn’t pursue an athletic career of high school,” Hwang said. “Just having [my] well-being and knowing my body and how it works and what to do with it – I think that is pretty invaluable for me, and [being able to] pass that information along to the students here.”

Being a former athlete himself doesn’t just mean Hwang knows the high points a trainer can provide. It means he knows the lows, or more accurately, the chasms that a trainer can reluctantly open up in the lives of the athletes. Among their responsibilities include what Hwang says is the hardest part of the job: delivering the bad news when it arises.

“For me personally, the hardest part of the job is having to see an athlete get injured and not be able to play,” Hwang said. “I can sympathize with that as a former athlete myself.”

But injuries also give the trainers a chance to maintain the athlete’s safety and well-being when normally, a high-school player motivated to seize a scout’s attention won’t fully consider the consequences of playing through a concussion or a nagging ache.

“Even if we’re taking them out of the game, which is pretty tough, it’s for their well-being,” Hwang said. “So we have to make hard choices, even if the student doesn’t necessarily agree with them.”

Hwang knows from personal experience how broken the human body can become without consistent medical attention; having an athletic trainer gives them a trusted figure, maybe someone less intimidating than a white lab coat spewing scary statistics about recovery rates.

“I was lucky I didn’t get any

season-ending injuries, but I did have a lot of chronic injuries so I had to go to the trainer a lot to take care of me,” Hwang said. “Otherwise my body would fall apart.”

Even though the process of treating an injury is often drawn out, and arduous for athlete and trainer alike, the sign hanging above the trainers’ desk summarizes things nicely: missing one game to get treated is better than missing your entire season. The message may seem obvious but it’s a necessary reminder for most who visit that their months of patience will pay off in the long run.

“[Chronic injuries] aren’t something that you can cure over a single moment,” Hwang said. “You have to constantly do your rehab, your exercises. And it’s understandable why students can’t always do them consistently, or if they’re confused. They need the right guidance and assistance.”

If Hwang could offer them any piece of advice? Time heals all.

“Another thing [athletes] need to realize, especially, is that there’s no quick cure for anything,” Hwang said. “Injuries take time.”

While the process of creating a treatment program for an athlete (and ensuring they follow it) can be rewarding – Hwang himself, on his first case out of college, got to see an entire ankle reconstruction from start to finish – the job is equally time-consuming as it is gratifying. Similarly to a doctor staying on-call, athletic trainers don’t have set hours, and depending on the number of games in a week or the number of severe injuries suffered, they’re relied on to be available from early morning practices to after late night games.

“We have to consider the size of the high school, which has sometimes over a thousand registered athletes to take care of,” Hwang said. “It’s hard to balance how many people are inside the room, so we have to work and be able to manage our time very well. There are a lot of hours, and sometimes I don’t go home until very late. If you really like what you’re doing and don’t mind working long and grinding through it, it’s for you.”

Even his own colleagues tended to underestimate the demands of his job, likely due to the reputation of a trainer being an easy job. Hwang knows it’s anything but.

“My friends never took seriously how long my hours were,” Hwang said. “This is not a standard 40 hour, five-day job. This job can demand your weekends, 50, 60 hours plus if you’re not careful. And it’s also not the ‘highest paying’ profession out there compared to a PT or chiropractor or a doctor, but I’d say in terms of working with the athletes, since we’re the closest ones to them and at their sport, just being able to know that information makes us a valuable asset. They’re beginning to understand how it works, even if they may not really understand the time and energy and effort that has to be put into it.”

Despite the intensity of the job, and the exhausting responsibilities, Hwang says he doesn’t envy the attention that athletes and coaches get. He’s just fine working behind the scenes, keeping his athletes healthy and happy. Their knowledge of his worth, he says, is enough.

“Obviously when people think athletics, they don’t really think about the trainer. But we don’t really need that attention,” Hwang said. “The coaches and the athletes, whether they choose to chat us up in the public or not, they understand our value.”

He doesn’t feel the need to make grand proclamations about the credit his work deserves. To him, his work speaks for itself.

“It’s not really about telling [those who don’t know much about what goes on behind the scenes] how awesome we are. I think I know how awesome I am, and I’m pretty sure my co-workers know how awesome I am, and the athletes I work with know how awesome we are.”

And at the end of the day, he believes the job is better suited just outside the spotlight.

“The best time to do our job is not to do our job.”

 

Sports Boosters

Paly is known for its expansive athletics department and unique privileges, such as advanced recovery technology and plentiful equipment, within those sports. The budget fits the bill: $360,000 yearly to spend on improving the athletics program-the majority of which comes from student contributions. But an inability to pay the recommended $200 shouldn’t prevent a talented athlete from playing. This is where Sports Boosters come in: the parent-run group makes it possible for students to participate in sports.

The Sports Boosters Club at Paly is run by President Rebecca Passarello and works around campus and with other parents to raise money for all sports.

Most students take their athletic experience at Paly for granted. Playing a sport is almost a rite of passage, with about half of the school playing for at least one sport, not to mention two- and even three-sport athletes. However, without Sports Boosters raising money through ticket sales, season passes, and snacks, a lot of comforts we have in terms of athletics – including the sheer number of athletes that can play – would not be possible.

In simpler terms, Sports Boosters allows for every sports event and team to run smoothly.

“Team parents typically help with communication, reminding parents about the Participation Donation (donation to Sports Boosters that each player’s family is asked to make), coordinating carpools and meals, and planning senior nights and end of season celebrations,” Passarello said.

Despite the efforts, Sports Boosters is always scrambling to get donations before the school year starts. The need for donations may seem strange, especially to athletes who have never considered that our school’s experience is not shared by other districts, let alone by other schools within our same district. Up-to-date equipment, professional level jerseys, and transportation fees are one thing. But Sports Boosters doesn’t just cover the financial logistics of high school athletics (although, with the lack of help from the school district, this should certainly be lauded) They volunteer their time as well, and as the saying goes, time is money. Without the willingness of parent volunteers to assist in such events like senior nights and staffing the snack shacks, our in-game experience would look a good deal different.  

Sports Boosters, takes care of both of those tasks. Our senior nights stand out particularly as some of the nicest in the area; the opportunity to have such a beautiful send-off for senior athletes is bolstered by the efforts of Sports Boosters.

“The head varsity coach decides how much the team can spend from their account on these events,” Passarello said. “Usually a program has a tradition of what they do for senior night and end of season events, so we usually start with that, and for varsity events, ask junior parents to help organize and set up the event. This year we tried something new for football which I think went well, so we may have a new tradition.”

This year, the team took photos at 5:30 instead of practicing before hand, they then ran onto the field and took another photo on the field with their families. Lastly, instead of naming seniors one by one before the game, they named people throughout the game. None of this would have happened without Sports Boosters.

Sports Boosters is also a well-integrated part of the athletic system at Paly. They work with coaches, janitors, teams, and athletic directors to ensure everything plays out well. While they are a huge part of a behind-the-scenes team that most people easily forget about, they make Paly athletics both feasible and worth attending.

Within this organization, parents also have the opportunity to earn leadership positions. However, having such busy lives already, it is sometimes hard to fill in all these jobs. This was a minor issue this year because as the former president retired since  all her children graduated, no one else was really willing to fill in the job.

Thankfully, current President Rebecca Passarello took this responsibility upon herself when no one else could, and ensured another year of success in Sports Boosters.

“The president is always voted in-it’s in our bylaws that this must be done. I stepped in as president right before school started because we didn’t have anyone to fill the spot vacated by last year’s president due to graduation of her kids. It’s a big job, as are our treasurers, spirit gear sales team, website manager, communications, and all the other tasks that volunteers do to keep Paly athletics’ funding. I think some people may think it’s too big of a job, but we all do what we can to help and encourage others to join us.”

   

Conclusion

Some have the awesome responsibility of working in the public eye. They can be seen, giving their all, on television, in books, and in every other aspect of our culture.

Some, however, work out of the limelight. Their work is often unrecognized, and unappreciated. However, some students have shown that this does not have to be the case.  By forming a culture that gives credit to those that work extremely hard, we stand to encourage and appreciate those that operate on our behalf each and every day.

We may never see those that work in the dark, but that does not mean we can’t feel their effects on our lives. They allow us to perform at our best, in a trying environment. For that reason, they deserve the light, the same appreciation garnered by those who leave their all on the court.

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